Re: Help: Microsoft patent covers package download and upgrade
On Tue, 2 May 2000 email@example.com wrote:
> Hi all,
> Microsoft was recently granted a patent that covers a core
> part of Debian, and probably Red Hat too. (If you have
No, it doesn't. See below.
> Filed Nov 14. 1997, granted Oct 26, 1999
> US5974454: Method and system for installing and updating
> program module components
> Installing and updating a software program module component.
> A determination is made whether the current date is on or
> after a date stored in a registry key on a computer. If the
> current date is on or after the date stored in the registry
> key, then a computer transmits a database query via the
> Internet to a database server. At the database server, a
> determination is made whether an upgrade package for the
> software program module component is available, such as by
> performing a database lookup. If an upgrade package for the
> software program module component is available, then an
> upgrade package message is sent from the database server to
> the computer. At the computer, a determination is made whether
> the user wants to download the upgrade package. If so, then
> an upgrade package query is sent by the computer via the
> Internet to a package server. At the package server, in
> response to receiving the upgrade package query, the upgrade
> package is retrieved and sent over the Internet to the computer.
> The upgrade package is then installed on the computer to update
> the software program module component.
I've followed a course on patents at our Univ, and learned that formulation is
EXTREMELY important. And M$ happily formulated things in such a way that
Debian and RH are not affected.
In the M$ way [translated2debian], the FTP server would determine if there
were newer package versions available. In the Debian way, the FTP server just
sends a list of _all_ available packages, and the _client_ computer determines
if there are new versions.
This is clearly a different solution to the underlying problem, so Debian/RH
do not infringe M$'s patents.